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2,600-year-old tombs discovered in central China

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07 December 2015

Archeologists in China have discovered over 200 tombs in Yichuan County of Luoyang City in central China's Henan Province that they say date back to more than 2,500 years. The tombs are believed to contain the skeleton of the members of an ancient royal family.

These include some rare structures, comprising more than 200 tombs, eight horse and chariot pits, over 30 ash pits and more than 10 kilns.

The tombs, which cover an area over 200,000 square metres, date back to the Spring and Autumn period (771-476 BC).

The Luhun Kingdom is believed to have flourished for a relatively short period of time from 638 BC to 525 BC.

Archeologists also discovered skeletons of eight horses and chariot pits, over 30 ash pits and more than 10 kilns alongside the skeletons of humans. The horses were kept carefully on both the sides along with beautiful decorations on the carcasses. Northeast corner of chariot pit contains a large number of buried heads and hoofs of cattle and sheep. These findings suggest that the skeleton belongs to a royal family that had little political power in that era.

It is believed that the tomb contains the remains of an ancient royal family, and may hold the key to learning more about a little known kingdom in China's history. The uncovered tomb will reveal more about the cultures and rituals of people belonging to Luhun Kingdom.

They also discovered an ancient city dating back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220) alongside the site, which, archaeologists believe, was home to an ancient tribe more than 2,600 years ago.

The tribe was one of the few in the region whose migration and time of perish was recorded. Experts will study the tribe to learn the history of migration of minorities in the central area of China, state- run Xinhua news agency reported.

Researchers started the excavation back in 2009 and were astonished to discover over 200 tombs spread over an area of about 2,00,000 square metres. The 21 feet long, 17 feet wide and 28 feet deep tombs were protected by plaster and a coffin board but still they had suffered heavy damage due to water over the course of time while grave robbers have also looted the place and ruined the protected history.

The uncovered tomb will reveal more about the cultures and rituals of people belonging to Luhun Kingdom. Further analysis will help historians in gaining knowledge and developing a better understanding of migratory people in Henan Province that is considered as one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilisation.

According to historians, Henan Province was once the political, cultural and economic centre of China after the demise of Song and Yuan Dynasties.





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